China has held on the COVID-19 restrictions far longer than most other countries, including the United States. Following mass protests from its citizens, the Chinese government has agreed to roll back many COVID policies, including the quarantine requirement for travelers that up until January 5th, required a 5 day hotel quarantine followed by a 3 day at-home quarantine.
Despite this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) advise American travelers to “reconsider travel” to China and will also require anyone returning from China, Hong Kong, and Macau to take a COVID test no more than 48 hours before arriving to the U.S. This requirement is in place regardless of a traveler’s vaccination requirement.
In addition to China’s loosened up restrictions, Hong Kong has announced that it will be getting rid of almost all of the COVID protocols that have been in place until now, according to its tourism board.
Even though China has removed many COVID restrictions, there is now a huge surge of cases around the massive country. There is also concern about the People’s Republic of China (PRC) government not being fully transparent on just how many cases there are and the severity of the
The CDC said in a news release: “Reduced testing and case reporting in the PRC and minimal sharing of viral genomic sequence data could delay the identification of new variants of concern if they arise.”
In any case, for travelers leaving the U.S. looking to fly to China, there are fewer options available these days than the pre-pandemic days. According to Reuters, United Airlines, which offers four flights per week from San Francisco to Shanghai, will now be “evaluating the market demand and operating environment to determine when to resume additional flight operations to mainland China.”